|GILBERT ARENAS Amnesty victim|
Wild day of transactions
Arenas waived; Tyson, NY close
The NBA’s amnesty era is underway.
Taking advantage of the league’s new get-out-of-a-contract card, the Orlando Magic waived Gilbert Arenas and the $62 million he was owed over the next three seasons as one of the very first moves after the lockout formally ended, and the New York Knicks were preparing to use the clause on Chauncey Billups - a precursor to adding Tyson Chandler as a free agent from the champion Dallas Mavericks.
There was Dwight Howard trade talk, widespread reaction over the NBA’s decision to reject a proposed trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers, and dozens of moves in short order as teams worked briskly to start filling their rosters.
And finally, rookies could become, well, rookies. Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 pick this year, signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as did No. 4 pick Tristan Thompson. In Minnesota, No. 2 pick Derrick Williams practiced with the expectation his deal would be signed no later than today, and Utah signed, among others, No. 3 pick Enes Kanter.
The biggest news was likely yet to come, and New York was in the epicenter of speculation.
Chandler was on his way to New York. A person with knowledge of the Knicks’ plans said the team is planning to use the amnesty clause to waive Billups and possibly make other moves before having the ability to free up space for Chandler and what could be a $58 million deal over four years.
Howard showed up for the start of Magic camp, amid reports that he was seeking a trade to New Jersey.
“As of right now,’’ Howard said, “I’m here.’’
Magic chief executive officer Alex Martins said the team has not filed tampering charges with the NBA against any team for interference with Howard.
Howard deflected the rash of reports that sprang up yesterday saying he met with the New Jersey Nets Thursday and was preparing to ask for a trade there.
The Magic made a slew of moves, including the signings of veteran guard Larry Hughes and former Celtics draft pick Gabe Pruitt.
Roy may retire
The news of the day was grim and kept coming in waves in Portland. The Blazers were told guard Brandon Roy will not play this season because of knee problems, and there were widespread reports that Roy is retiring. And while Portland re-signed oft-injured center Greg Oden, it did so while saying he has “suffered a setback.’’ Blazers forward-center LaMarcus Aldridge will miss about a week, the team said, after undergoing a procedure “to evaluate the status of the electrical system in his heart.’’ Aldridge had a similar procedure in 2007 . . . The Kings agreed to a $21.3 million, four-year deal with free agent center Chuck Hayes and re-signed free agent guard Marcus Thornton for $31 million over four years. The Kings also completed the signing of No. 10 pick and former BYU star Jimmer Fredette . . . In San Antonio, T.J. Ford was on the training camp roster, as was Richard Jefferson, who’s widely believed to be an another amnesty candidate . . . The Clippers completed the signing of Caron Butler for a reported $24 million, three-year contract . . . The Lakers signed sharpshooter Jason Kapono, a two-time winner of the league’s 3-point shootout contest at All-Star weekend . . . Another former 3-point shootout champion, Daequan Cook, agreed to terms on a $6.5-million, two-year deal to stay with Oklahoma City . . . Philadelphia is keeping Thaddeus Young, with the sides announcing a tentative agreement . . . Dallas announced the signing of free agent forward Brandan Wright, a former first-round pick.
Suns re-sign Hill
Grant Hill is returning to the Suns on a $6.5 million, one-year deal, and the team announced that Vince Carter was waived. That move was expected, and only $4 million of Carter’s contract was guaranteed. The Suns also added guards Shannon Brown and Sebastian Telfair . . . In Miami, point guard Mario Chalmers signed a new deal that could be worth up to $12 million over three years, swingman James Jones and forward Juwan Howard agreed to new contracts, and center Eddy Curry - who has played in 10 games over the last three years - arrived to formally join the East champions . . . The Pistons are set to part ways with Richard Hamilton. General manager Joe Dumars indicated a buyout would be forthcoming. The Pistons re-signed Tayshaun Prince to what was expected to be a $27 million, four-year contract . . . Atlanta re-signed center Jason Collins and added Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic and Jerry Stackhouse . . . Toronto completed a deal with center Jamaal Magloire, the first Canadian-born player to sign with the Raptors.